An op-ed at Farm and Dairy, an Ohio ag journal, warns farmers that they can no longer afford to ignore the current economic reality and cites some grim numbers:
While the U.S. economy remains strong, with GDP growth estimated to average more than 2 percent over the next two years, real net farm income is down 28 percent, Johansson said, relative to the 10-year average.
In his statement to the U.S. House Committee on Agriculture Feb. 27, U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue threw out these numbers: Net farm income has fallen nearly 50 percent from its peak in 2013.
And, as a result of low commodity prices, farmers are leveraging their equity — oftentimes their land — to finance operating expenses. Right now, the number of crop farms in a highly leveraged financial situation are about 1 in 10.
“Today, total debt is approaching record levels in real terms, and real estate debt has reached a record high in 2018,” Johansson said in his report at the forum.
Insane agricultural subsidy policies along with the huge growth in factory and corporate farms (which benefit yugely from the subsidies -- Forbes reported last year that the top 10 farm subsidy recipients in the U.S. each received an average of $18.2 million ) all share some of the blame. I live in Ohio's top dairy-producing county and the situation here is bad. In 2014 milk prices averaged $23.16 per 100 pounds. In 2018 the average was $14.43 -- a 38 percent drop. The reason? A huge glut in the dairy market -- to the point that some farmers have reduced the size of their herds to try and stabilize prices. One dairy producer up the road from me sold 3,000 head of cattle a few years back. While critics blame overproduction for prices bottoming out, producers point to a huge increase in dairy imports. It's not one or the other -- it's both. Low prices are good for consumers, but those chickens almost always end up coming home to roost -- usually in the form of scarcity and higher prices.
Listen to Salena and keep an eye in PA for St. Patrick's Day.
Is that so?
It's not worth it? Like in a fundraising $en$e? Or in the "you will lose the House in 2020" sense? If Trump was as bad as the Democrats say he is and has committed all kinds of unspeakable, treasonous crimes, wouldn't it be worth it for America to get rid of him? Unless that isn't the case at all....
If they don't die on the battlefield, they should face interrogation followed immediately by summary execution.
It's the only sane -- only moral -- way to deal with terrorists.
And, yes, it's totally legal under Geneva.
YOUR PJM LIVE BLOG OPEN THREAD
Cannibalism coming to Venezuela? Tucker Carlson's old shock radio appearance? Banned for learning to code?
What's your big story of the day?
I saw Captain Marvel last night, and I have to say it was rather disappointing. I love Marvel movies and have no problem with a female superhero lead. Wonder Woman was fantastic.
That said, Captain Marvel is a Mary Sue character. She's fun to watch, but ultimately she has very little of a real or compelling personality. She's way overpowered, and she knows it. Her slow discovery of her past made the movie enjoyable, and the action was great, as always. But her character left a great deal to be desired.
Marvel movies usually strike the perfect mix between action, humor, and character development. Sadly, the main character in this movie was flat, overpowered, and the "strong woman" stereotype.
Another major weakness — and warning SPOILERS — the Kree twist is not well worked out and seems abrupt and unjustified. One moment, the Kree are noble warrior heroes. The next, they're evil. That's not how good storytelling works.
I'd love to have seen two or three scenes slowly establishing why the Kree are evil, and that would have met the emotional threshold necessary for such a huge plot twist. As it stands, the movie abruptly moves from supporting one side to supporting the other, and the explanation is very much lacking.
Captain Marvel is a fun movie, but it is far too on-the-nose and it falls far short of the Marvel secret sauce and the excellent character development in Wonder Woman. I deeply wish a character as deeply intertwined in the Marvel Cinematic Universe and as pivotal to Avengers: Endgame (as Captain Marvel is) would be a deeper, more compelling figure. It cheapens the entire universe to have a Mary Sue at the center of it.
Make Congress Congress again.
Both Republicans and Democrats support the REINS Act, a measure that would require massive regulations to pass Congress just like a law. (As it stands, regulatory agencies effectively make law; it's quite perverse and arguably violates Article 1 of the Constitution.)
From David Schoenbroad over at The Hill:
A recent Rasmussen poll shows that a whopping 82 percent of voters believe that “Congress should review and approve regulations rather than allowing agencies to [impose them] on their own.” Yet, Congress shuns such responsibility because of a conflict of interest between its members and their constituents rather than a difference of opinion between Democratic and Republican voters.
Indeed, by margins of more than four-to-one, voters of both parties want their representatives to decide on regulations. In contrast, Democrats in Congress oppose the idea, while Republicans in Congress pretend to favor it, but in fact block it.
The administrative state gives Congress plausible deniability, so as America has more and more regulations that weaken freedom, Congress can pass the buck to the administration. What if Congress actually passed regulations? Then the people would have a say.
Yet, if these legislators had to take responsibility for the regulations, they would restructure regulatory statutes to give us more protection — and — fewer burdens. Instead, they leave them structured to give themselves more credit and less blame. That’s selfish.
The Regulations from the Executive in Need of Scrutiny (REINS) Act, one of my favorite pieces of legislation, would require economically important regulations to be passed by both houses of Congress and signed by the president, just like any law.
If Democrats really want to empower the people and weaken the government, they would support this law. Sadly, Republicans do not strongly support it, either. This should be an issue in every election.
Holy hypocrisy Batman!
This from the lady who worried about the dual loyalty of Jewish Americans. How rich.
Did you hear the one about the diver who was eaten by a whale and lived to tell the tale?
"This was a very special event and a special moment," the diver says in the video below. During that "special moment," he says he was "an inside man" looking outside of the whale.
"It gives me a connection to the whale which I don't think anyone else had before," he added. With the exception of Jonah, he's probably right.